In 1967, the Beatles released Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. The last song on that album is called A Day In the Life. That's what I want you to do with this picture. I want you to describe a day in the life of a dinosaur.
It wakes up. It's under a tree. It gets up. It's in a rain forest, but with bushes and stuff all over the place, little twigs on the ground, dinosaur eggs, and it looks for a small mammal. It grabs it with its bare hands, it eats a little of its body, and then it throws it back down. It walks away into the forest, sits down in the middle of the bushes, and rests. And after that, it gets up, its about afternoon, it goes to a river, has a drink of water. The river next to it -- there's big logs and stuff -- it hides under the logs, waits for a parasaurolophus or something that wants a drink of water, it pounces out on that animal and, usually, bites his neck. And then, the carcass, it eats it fast, because there are some things, tiny velociraptors, miniature velociraptors I should say, in packs, and they eat it really fast and they take the carcass. And so the velociraptor eats half of it and leaves the rest for scavengers like Tyrannosaurus rex and other scavengers. And then it lies down. Takes a little bit of rest. And then it gets up again. Its about dinner time. It doesn't eat now. It waits until its completely dark out. It relies on its night eyes. And gets small dinosaurs. And then it walks into the forest in its hand, rests by a tree, and that's its day.
Would you like to have been sharing that day you described with that dinosaur, sitting on a rock with a pad and a pencil, and sketching the dinosaur as it went about its daily habits?
Would you be scared?
What would you do if you were sketching him and all of sudden you heard a loud rumbling sound and smelled some horribly fetid, bacterial breath behind you and it was a Tyrannosaurus rex?
I wouldn't be scared at all. Tyrannosaurus rex do not kill. I mean, they eat meat; but they don't kill. They don't walk up to a dinosaur and just stick their mouth --
--yes they do, don't they? I thought they grabbed it and shook it and killed it and then ate it.
That's what they do on National Geographic. That stuff isn't real. They shake it -- yea. But they also, what they usually do is just, they don't really hunt it all, but I mean sometimes they hunt and shake it, but not all the time. A lot of the time it just eats scavengers, I mean if it saw me sitting down with a pencil it would go ERRRUUUUUHHHHH and walk away.
What would you do if that happened to you -- the Tyrannosaurus rex made the noise and walked away -- but then he came back and he was no longer a real dinosaur. He was a cartoon dinosaur.
How would you feel about that? Disappointed?
Because I'm missing out on all the action.
Baltimore, January 14, 2005